Located in a small clearing of a dense sub-tropical rainforest in the northern part of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Hinterland is the low-impact Bryden House. Designed for a single client with a passion for books and a significant art collection, BVN Architecture in collaboration with Daniel R Fox Architects worked to create this single level home which pays respect to the surrounding environment. Simply furnished to highlight the client's collections, the Bryden House is a sustainable masterpiece featuring rainwater collection, solar energy harvesting, its own water treatment system and low energy use.
The home is clad in lightweight metal to minimize maintenance, and is oriented towards the north to make the most of a solar passive design. Excavation was kept to a minimum to reduce site disturbances, and the color of the home is kept dark in order to blend in with the surrounding clearing and forest.
Built on stilts, the house benefits from natural ventilation moving through the whole house and is furthermore better able to accommodate a 40,000 liter rainwater cistern underneath the garage collected from the roof, permeable driveway and pathways.
Waste is treated on-site with a Biolytix organic waste treatment system, and photovoltaics on the roof generate more than enough power for the home’s demand. Plantation timbers were sourced for use in all the structural framing, floors, walls and roof as well as all joinery. Energy efficient light fittings and appliances are combined with water efficient fixtures to minimize resource use and low VOC finishes are used throughout. No AC is needed to cool the home and a slow combustion stove with ducted heat transfer provides sufficient heating in the winter.
The small house serves as the client’s retreat into nature and as the perfect location for the contemplation of nature, art and literature. Expanding windows on both the north and south side take in the views and provide a deep connection with the surrounding environment. As part of the construction of the home, the client has worked to plant new indigenous trees in order to grow the rainforest further.
Images ©Christopher Frederick Jones/BVN Architecture